02/17/2018, 13.36
SINGAPORE-CHINA
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First New Year in Singapore for Keyuan, an orphan with no ears

His story moved his new adoptive family. Every year in China, 900 thousand children are born with disabilities. The number has increased by 70% in the last 20 years. Many end up in orphanages, abandoned by families. In the absence of social support and with the age limit of adoption at 14, some are not adopted at all.

Singapore (AsiaNews / CNA) - Keyuan, an eight-year-old Chinese boy born without ears (photo 1), will spend the first lunar New Year in Singapore, in the company of his new adoptive family. In a Channel NewsAsia documentary about the harsh reality of unwanted disabled Chinese children, his story touched Yap Vong Hin, 60, and his wife Lim Poh Lian, 52 (photo 2), already parents of three teenagers, one of whom they adopted in China 16 years ago.

Little Keyuan officially joined the Yap family on January 29, when the adoption process started in March 2017 ended. He was born in Wuwei, a small Chinese town in the northwestern province of Gansu, and had been abandoned at the entry of an orphanage by  his biological parents, a few days after his birth. A Muslim couple in the same city soon agreed to adopt him.

At the age of four, however, Keyuan was not yet able to speak well because of his hearing impairment. So the couple decided to send him to an orphanage in Shanghai who could offer him better assistance. The director of the center, in turn, asked for help from Alenah's Home in Beijing, a specialized reception center for children with special needs. Collected the money needed for a hearing aid, Keyuan was able to learn to speak properly.

Keyuan, now Lucas Yap Keyuan, arrived in Singapore on February 10 with his adoptive parents and was welcomed by the new brothers. In the next few months he will have a new  hearing aid system (the one he has been using for years is oudated) and later the doctors will evaluate whether to reconstruct his ears and the ear canal, which would require several surgical procedures.

Every year in China, 900 thousand children are born with disabilities. The number has increased by 70% in the last 20 years. In the absence of social support from the government, many end up in orphanages abandoned by families and without treatment. As a result, the centers that were once full of little girls (abandoned due to the one-child policy in China), are now packed with unwanted disabled children. With the age limit of 14 for adoption imposed by Chinese law, some are not adopted at all and end up living or working in orphanages hosting older children with disabilities.

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